President Barack Obama campaigned in Midwestern battlegrounds Ohio and Michigan on Wednesday while Republican rival Mitt Romney spoke in North Carolina.
Obama won all three states in his 2008 race against Republican John McCain, but they may all be in play this fall. Here's a look at each state by the numbers.
Obama won Michigan in 2008 by 57 percent to McCain's 41 percent. Unemployment was 8.8 percent in February, the most recent month for which there are statistics, above the most recent national rate of 8.2 percent for March. That's down from Michigan's 9.6 percent level of joblessness in November 2008. Romney won the 2008 GOP primary in Michigan, 39 percent to McCain's 30 percent. Some 16 percent of the primary vote went to Mike Huckabee.
Obama carried Ohio in 2008 with 52 percent of the vote to McCain's 47 percent. McCain won the state's 2008 GOP primary by 60 percent to Huckabee's 31 percent. Romney had dropped out by then. The most recent unemployment figures for Ohio showed a 7.6 percent jobless rate, 0.6 percentage points better than the national average. Unemployment there in November 2008 was 7.1 percent.
North Carolina, which had gone solidly for President George W. Bush in 2004 (56 percent to 44 percent for Democrat John Kerry) switched and voted narrowly for Obama in 2008 by 50 percent to McCain's 49 percent. Unemployment in North Carolina was 9.9 percent in February, 1.7 percentage points above the national March average. North Carolina's unemployment rate was 7.9 percent in November 2008.